“Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness'” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9).
These verses are from the apostle Paul, written in a letter to the Corinthians.
Paul wrote the letter from Macedonia in about A.D. 55 or 56, according to multiple sources.
The letter, which Paul may have been written after an actual visit to Corinth, refers to “an upheaval among the Christians there” — during which Paul had been insulted and his authority as an apostle challenged, Britannica notes.
The verses address a crucial question that believers often struggle with, say faith leaders: If God loves me and is merciful, why does he not release me from pain or struggle?
Consider the preceding verses in 2 Corinthians Chapter 12 in order to properly evaluate these.
“Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say …” reads 2 Corinthians 12:6.
“Or because of these surpassingly great revelations,” continues 2 Corinthians 12:7.
“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.”
The apostle Paul acknowledges his humility through his struggle — and then asked God three times to be released from it, this “messenger of Satan.”
“In our lives, our own sufferings also are a means for God to strengthen us.”
God uses even our weaknesses to bring us greater strength and closeness to him as 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 reveals, one South Carolina faith leader told Fox News Digital.
“Saint Paul asks God to remove a thorn in his side, but God does not,” said Fr. Jeffrey Kirby, pastor of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Indian Land, South Carolina.
“Instead, God blesses Paul through his sufferings,” he continued, “and gives him something beyond a physical healing.”
He added, “In our lives, our own sufferings also are a means for God to strengthen us — and bring about greater blessings than we could have ever imagined.”
Stay tuned for more Bible verses of the day during the Advent season. To see yesterday’s Bible verse, click here.